Friday, June 19, 2009

A Better Day in Gaspe!

We were on the road early on our way to the Gaspersie area of the Gaspe peninsula and we had a better day than before. We had no more mechanical problems for one thing, but for another we started to run into nicer people. Closer to the center of Quebec very little English is spoken and the people make no effort to communicate with the tourist. A young cashier at Wal-Mart took particular pleasure in speaking extremely fast, knowing I couldn't follow what she was saying. A few moments later I got some cash out of the ATM and approached the service desk to get change. This was an older woman who tried her best to understand what I wanted and she succeeded. She didn't speak any English, but I got my point across and got the change I wanted. When I was done, I said "Merci!" and she was delighted that I at least made that small gesture. People in the information stations are not much better. If you are going to be in central Quebec, you will need to speak French.

Further from Quebec City it wasn't as much of a problem. The people in the information booths speak English very well and are extremely courteous and helpful. The only problem I had after that was when I tried to sign into a campground. The owner was running an errand and the assistant spoke only French. However, she was not snooty or condescending. We got the vital information out of the way, name, address, and license plate number. I was ready to move to a campsite when the owner returned. She was able to finalize everything, but most of the work had already been done. It must have been funny to have the assistant and me trying to make the other understand what we meant.

After we got the camper settled, we took the dogs for a ride. To the east is the Metane River, a good sized river noted for it's salmon. Driving beside the river for many miles, we finally found a suitable spot for the dogs to go for a swim. The thing about my Labs is that water is everything!!! Pond water, lake water, river water, or pool water, it makes no difference. Calm water, heavy surf, strong currents, it also does not matter. There was a strong current that would take them downriver quite fast. It wasn't a problem as they would simply swim to shore and run back upstream. As I write this now, one is fast asleep under the table and the other asleep behing Helen's chair. It will be a quiet night tonight.

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